Urban-Farming Camps Have Kids Asking, Where’s the Healthy Food?

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Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for The New York Times Standing between two buildings on 127th Street, a group of campers on the cusp of adolescence mulled over a change in schedule. Normally, they would spend the morning planting and gardening as part of Harlem Grown , a youth development nonprofit that uses gardening and cooking to teach and empower children in Harlem. But on this Friday, they would become amateur cartographers, mapping their local food landscape. The 15 campers walked through their neighborhood, paper and pencils in hand. How many delis? (By some counts, 17, by others, 14.) Supermarkets? (Three.) Fast-food restaurants? (Twenty-two, they estimated, but lost count.) As he looked for places offering affordable vegetables, Myles Bradumn, a 13-year-old camper, grew frustrated. “What about the delis?” he asked. “Can you get vegetables at the deli?” said his counselor, Jarielle Isaac, 22. “Sort of,” Myles replied. “Can you get a lot of produce at the deli? Is there fresh food there?” she asked, pressing him. “No,” Myles snapped. “But where are we supposed to get our food from, then?” For years, summer programs like the Fresh Air Fund have transported low-income New York City children into the suburbs and countryside […]

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